All, Travel

Palani Trip

It was on an early summer morning of March that we set off to our Palani trip. It was a pilgrimage to Palani Dhandayuthapani temple. Temple was constructed by Cheraman Perumal – A king of the Chera dynasty on 700 AD but as per legends, it dates up to 3000 BC. It was a working day and the train was almost empty. Some foreigners were there with us on the train along with their guide. We got down in Palani railway station at 7:30 am sharp. Horse carts and auto-rickshaws were available from railway station to go to Adivaram, which is 2 kilometres from Palani station. Adivaram is a tourist hub just below the Palani hills. Auto-rickshaw drivers charge ₹ 80/- from station to Adivaram, but as it was not crowded that day one auto-rickshaw driver gave us a ₹ 50/- deal, which we took. When we enquired, he said horse carts were cheaper but they will make the passengers buy pooja items, which was their side business.

Adivaram is a tourist hub, full of hotels, restaurants, pay bathrooms, clock rooms, pooja items and souvenirs shops. Like all pilgrimage spots in Tamilnadu, the moment we entered Adivaram, hawkers and shopkeepers ran towards us to hard sell their items.

Palani Adivaram ( Palani Temple could be seen on top ).

Palani Adivaram ( Palani Temple could be seen on top ).

Tip: There are plenty of paid clock room throughout Palani ( To keep footwear, bags secure ). People will obsessively fluster you to invest your foot-ware in their shop for a small fee. However, it is advised to use the clock room or hotel nearby the temple. Otherwise, you will burn your foot walking bare footed in the scorching heat till the temple entrance. There is also free footwear storing facility provided by the devaswom before reaching the stairs.

We had our breakfast from “Balaji Bhavan”. The food was pricey and quality was average. Our coconut chutney was watery and without any salt. Masala roast cost ₹ 56/- Ghee roast ₹ 51/- Coffee ₹ 21/- per cup. In our place, we could get better food for less than half this amount. Price board was conveniently missing. I would recommend you to search for some restaurant farther away from the main tourist spot for a better experience.

Ours was a one day trip so we didn’t bother to reserve a room. But soon we realised that it was a mistake. By then I had bravely decided to shave my head, which is popular offering ritual in Palani. So I needed a place to bath after my  haircut. We also needed a place to rest and secure our bags and foot wares.

There were plenty of rooms available in Palani. We just needed a simple room for our purpose so we opted for a government devaswom lodge. Room rent was only ₹ 300/- per day for a non-AC room. After waiting for a while we got our room at “Karthikeyan Illam complex”. Our room was livable and it also had a Hot water pipe. You get a place enclosed with four walls for ₹300/- don’t expect anything more than that. We were not spending that night in Palani so it was enough for us. AC rooms cost 1000 Rs.

Devaswom room details

Devaswom room details board. ( Click to read )

Dandayuthapani Nilayam Room Booking

Dandayuthapani nilayam for room booking.


Tip: You can book devaswom lodge and darshan online from official Palani TNHRCE website

Next, I had to get my head shaved. The main business in Palani is hair-shaving. Pilgrims came from distant places to get bald. As per prophecy, if you shave your hair in Palani, along with your hair you will lose your bad karma. I thought I should have grown more hair. Just opposite to my lodge complex, there was a small place where devaswom hair shavers were sitting on the floor. When I saw a board which said 10 Rs for Shaving your head, I was surprised. But later I realised that ₹ 10/- was just for the coupon. You get a razor blade and a receipt for that amount. We had to pay ₹ 80/- minimum to the hair shaver as his wages. Extra for hair sweeper lady too. There was this guy who came before me with his dozen children, made all of them shave their head, thinking it was cheap for just ₹ 10/-. Later he got into a brawl with the hair shaver who asked for a lump-some money. Getting head shaved completely will take around 1 Minute. My hair-shaver had a loadable razor cut throat knife, he slitted the blade into two then loaded it in his weapon. Then from his hand, he took a handful of water and slapped into my head. For few seconds, I felt like he was scraping my head with a feather. “That’s it”, he said in the next moment. I was completely bald, and the process was simple and painless. There was a long queue behind me. For one minute he charged ₹ 80/-. On festive days, he might get more than 100 victims. His business cost, ZERO. I thought I should be getting this lucrative job.

We were late for Ucha Kala pooja which was scheduled at 12:30 PM. We had booked our pooja tickets online. We were running hither and thither to find a way to reach the hill. First, We opted for the rope car. We get to know that the rope car station was around 1 Km away from our spot. Our next option was the winch station (hill train) which was considerably slower than rope car and had a long queue. Seeing us stranded and confused, one silver plate salesman told us not to bother with this as we had to reach within 45 minutes. He advised us to climb the temple on foot. We had to climb the hill, find the devaswom office, show our receipts for ucha pooja, find the entrance, fight the crowd, reach the main hall and secure a good spot for darshan all within 45 minutes. It seemed impossible.

palani elephant path

palani elephant path

Tip : If you want good darshan, book online tickets for pooja. It costs minimum ₹ 177/- per person. It grants you access for Pooja. GET THERE EARLY. Otherwise, brace yourself to get squeezed by the crowd. Free entry will cost you a lot of time in the queue.

water filter

Plenty of water filters throughout the temple and stairs.

The steps diverge into two. One is called the human trail, other is the elephant trail. The advantage of elephant trail is that it has fewer steps but it is steeper than the normal path. I felt that elephant trail was better suited for climbing. Both covers the same distance. The view while climbing the steps was breathtaking. We saw Palani town in birds eye view. There were some temples and plenty of water filters on each level. As we were late, we did a trekking race and reached the top quickly.

Enough resting places are provided for the pilgrims.

Enough resting places are provided for the pilgrims.


Tip : There is no need of taking water while climbing on foot. There are plenty of drinking water pipes along the stairs and throughout the temple.

We showed the tickets in the devaswom counter and they directed us to enter the main temple through the exit. It was privilege access as we had the ticket for pooja. Ticket checker verified our ticket and provided access. But by then it got crowded inside the main hall. Early birds were sitting comfortably in front. There was push and pull and whining and squirming by the devotees. Each pushed and pulled other to get a glimpse of their God. We joined them too. Somehow we got to see the Ucha kala poojai. Poojari gave us vibhoothy ( sacred Ash ) and Sweet thirtham ( Milk water). He then paraded with pooja flowers and allowed devotees to touch the container. Eventually, those flowers would be  remitted to Palani andavan. The whole event took around 20 Minutes, and the pooja was over.

Queue for shappadu ( Lunch)

Queue for shappadu ( Lunch)

We were rambling around the temple thinking of lunch and then we saw a long queue. Someone told us that it was the queue for free lunch (prasadam). We stood on the line. There were different chambers and open cabins with chairs. Devotees have to pass through each level in the queue to reach the dining hall. Because of some mishaps in the serving process, we were served last. As a result, we had to gulp our food quickly before the next item came to the table. There was raw banana upperi, beetroot thoran, papad, sambar rice, rasam rice, vella payasam and moru rice. The food was good. Particularly, the rice was of premium quality.

A pipe hole in the wall we saw during our food queue which revealed astounding scenery of mountain range.

A pipe hole in the wall we saw during our food queue which revealed astounding scenery of mountain range.

Panchamrutham board

Panchamrutham board

After lunch, we continued our strolling around the temple while the summer heat of Palani fried us alive. In no time, I was running around on my bare foot and bald head. There were shelters on the left side and on the right side were panchamrutham shops and other pooja items shops. Panchamrutham is the famous prasadam of Palani. Panchamrutham is prepared using dates, honey, jaggery, banana & cardamom. It is delicious. We bought 2 bottles. Panchamrutham comes in ₹ 35/- per bottle and ₹ 40/- per can. After returning home, I repented not buying more of it. If nothing, it could be used as jam.

Tip : I recommend buying bottles of Panchamrutham. It is well prepared and worth the money. Buy it from the devaswom stalls inside the temple. There are also other alleged prasadams sold like laddoos appams etc. These are private enterprises. Still, we bought laddoo from there. 1 large Ladoo costs ₹ 20/-, but considering the quality it was good.

Birds-Eye View of Palani Town ( Click to Enlarge ).

Birds-Eye View of Palani Town ( Click to Enlarge ).

Palani Money 1

Palani Monkey

Birds eye view of Palani town could be seen from the temple complex. The view was spectacular. The buildings seemed like small cubes arranged by an autistic kid. Like most towns in India, it was evident that Palani was also an organically formed township. At noon, with the sun gleaming over the top, buildings shone with their colour and contrast. It was a beautiful sight. Along the temple walls and trees, monkeys lived with their families, sometimes taking a stroll with the pilgrims and occasionally sipping water from the drinking water tanks.

Rope car station palani

Rope car station palani

It was around 4 PM when we decided to climb down the hill. We decided to take winch or rope car to get down. Winch station was weirdly placed on the slope of the hill. We were walking 70 degrees erect to the ticket counter. Ticket cutter told us it will take at least 1 hour and 30 minutes for the winch to get back. So we went to try our luck with the rope car. Rope car was placed nearby the winch station. There was a long queue for getting into rope car. Tickets cost ₹ 15/- or ₹ 50/-. I sincerely don’t know the difference between the two. Someone said that ₹ 50/- Rs people get preferential treatment. But I could’nt see any difference.  Both queues were getting processed in similar way. It took about an hour to process the queue and finally we got down. It took 5 minutes in rope car to reach the ground.

Tip : It is evident that the best way to get in and out of the hill is through stairs, i.e if you have good health.

Palani town

Palani town

Rope car dropped us around 1 Km from our room. Horse carts and auto-rickshaws were available, we chose to walk on foot to tour Palani town. Like many Tamilnadu town, there were lots of “koozhu” store with spicy pickle and crunchies on the cart along the streets. We bought spicy raw mango for Rs.10/-. Streets were neat and clean. Shops catering to all classes populated the street sides. We reached our room. Packed the bags. Vacated the room.

The hotel guy took ₹ 400/- from us earlier and had told us that he will refund ₹ 100/- when we vacate the room. When we delivered our key he just gave us a wide smile. We had to remind him to give us back our ₹ 100/-. In tourist places like Palani we need to be vigilant.

Our train was at 7:30 pm. We rushed to Palani railway station and decided to have our dinner from a restaurant nearby the railway station. We couldn’t find any good restaurant nearby the railway station. Palani railway station is pretty small with only 2 platforms. We had hot chilly bajji and raw banana bajji along with tea from the railway station canteen and pretended that we had our dinner. Bajji = ₹ 5/-, Tea = ₹ 7/-. Our return journey was comfortable.

Our Palani trip was a good experience. We got good darshan and attended pooja with little trouble. Finally, I was brave enough to shave my head clean. It was on my bucket list for a while. I will very much recommend everyone, a Palani trip.

( This  Journey was on 29 / 03 / 2016. )

Monkey posing for my photo.

Monkey posing for my photo.

All, Musings

10 Things from the INTERNET that changed me !

1. Taking Myers-Briggs Personality test.

Understanding ourselves is the first step in doing anything meaningful in life. Psychological Tests like Myers-Briggs Personality test gave me an idea about my strengths and weakness. There are pro’s and con’s in everyone’s character. Knowing where I excel and where I trip, helped me to identify my strength and to be less self-critical. There are many free tests available.

2. Michel Sandel’s Harvard Lectures on “Justice”.

A must-take course on justice ( All 12 Lectures + many debates ). It made me realize that deriving our sense of morality is not as easy as it seems. It helped me to develop my moral and social sense. Fun discussion on Ideas of Aristotle to Immanuel Kant & John Locke. Helps improve critical thinking & decision making.

3. “Crash Course” by Green Brothers

Brilliant free crash course on all the subjects. Brushed up all the subjects I left back in the school. Knowledge really changes the way we see things around us. Subjects ranging from Literature, World history, Ecology, Psychology etc..

4. “Hardcore History” podcasts by Dan Carlin.

Learning more about history made me shed my prejudices. I learned more about humanity. History education gave me a clear sense of collective human psychology over the time. I understood how and why things are the way they are now. Hardcore History

5.  Jiddu Krishnamurti Lectures.

My review on the book Freedom from the Known by Jiddu Krishnamurti . The Nature of  the Mind ” series (1982), discussion by Jiddu Krishnamurti, David Bohm, Rupert Sheldrake and John Hidley.

6. Documentary “LIFE” by David Attenborough (BBC)


Life is the biggest wonder of this world ! Made me fall in love with this world. 10 Episodes.

7. Advaita Vedanta Lectures by Swami Paramarthananda.

Upanishads, Bhagavad-Gītā , BrahmaSutras lectures by Swami Paramarthananda. Swami Paramarthananda is the student of Dayananda Saraswati. Rare discourses. Self-Realization in a rational, non dogmatic way. Not available after the site is down. Courses are offered in Chennai (India).

8. “GOD DELUSION”, “SCIENCE DELUSION” ( AudioBooks) & Debates

Science Delusion Cover God Delusion CoverRichard Dawkins’s “GOD Delusion” was recommended by a friend, it changed my perception about religion.Learned about “GOD arguments” and “history of religions”.

Rupert Sheldrakes “SCIENCE Delusion” ( also known as “Science Set Free”), taught me about dogmas of science and made me think the limitations of science.

NB: Also Debates & Lectures on GOD, Consciousness & Mind.

9. VICE News Documentaries

Gave me an idea about the lives of people in the Middle-east & Africa. Real life is much more dramatic than what we see in the movies. Life & struggles of humanity. I felt horrified and relieved at the same time.

  • From ISIS to the Islamic State
  • The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Rockets and Revenge
  • Ghosts of Aleppo
  • The Cannibal Warlords of Liberia

VICE NEWS Playlists

10. Alain de Botton’s “Status Anxiety” & “Art of Travelling”

My review on “Status Anxiety” by Alain de Botton. Two great documentaries, change the way we see the world.


Movies, Series & Games

Lot of Movies, Games & Series. Even Fiction can teach / make us experience life.

Some among them are…

  • The Shawshank Redemption.
  • Pursuit of happiness.
  • Waking Life.
  • The Trueman show.
  • Richard Linklater Movies.
  • Charlie Kaufman Movies.
  • Christopher Nolen Movies.
  • Fallout: New Vegas Game ( All Platform )
  • Game Of Thrones Series.
  • House of Cards Series.

From each moment of learning we either asserts or rejects certain ideas. From traveling to reading books to conversing with someone, each event changes our perceptions, prejudices & opinions. Such changes are nothing but an attempt to understand our world better. It will go on.

All, Musings

The Proust Questionnaire Collection

Marcel ProustMarcel Proust author of the renowned “In Search For the Lost Time ” made a questionnaire. He believed that, by answering these questions, an individual reveals his / her true nature. Here are some of the questions from Proust Questionnaire.

1. What is your idea of perfect happiness?
2. What is your greatest fear?
3. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
4. What is the trait you most deplore in others?
5. Which living person do you most admire?
6. What is your greatest extravagance?
7. What is your current state of mind?
8. What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
9. On what occasion do you lie?
10. What do you most dislike about your appearance?
11. Which living person do you most despise?
12. What is the quality you most like in a man?
13. What is the quality you most like in a woman?
14. Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
15. What or who is the greatest love of your life?Proust Questionnaire
16. When and where were you happiest?
17. Which talent would you most like to have?
18. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
19. What do you consider your greatest achievement?
20. If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?
21. Where would you most like to live?
22. What is your most treasured possession?
23. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
24. What is your favorite occupation?
25. What is your most marked characteristic?
26. What do you most value in your friends?
27. Who are your favorite writers?
28. Who is your hero of fiction?
29. Which historical figure do you most identify with?
30. Who are your heroes in real life?
31. What are your favorite names?
32. What is it that you most dislike?
33. What is your greatest regret?
34. How would you like to die?
35. What is your motto?

Download EpubA similar questionnaire, answered by various celebrities, is regularly published on Vanity Fair magazine. There is also an interactive version of the questionnaire, which compares your answers to various personalities.

Compilation of the answers of various personalities in downloadable epub file. Its compatible with most e-readers.
DOWNLOAD E-pub (Proust Questionnaire Collection)

“Love is a striking example of how little reality means to us.”
― Marcel Proust, In Search of Lost Time

In Search of the Lost Time

All, Musings, Politics

War and Terror for Peace and Order ?

Society seeks order. If we investigate the rationale behind all the major war and terrors we have encountered, beyond its superficial petty causes, would lie the real reason that is a “craving for order”. Major terrors like world wars, genocides, and jihad are carried out in the name cleansing the society and to bring order in the social system. One group justifies that they use terror for making it a  fair society, another group claims that they are declaring war on them to stabilize governance and make peace.

Political ideologies  and religious doctrines are instruments to carry out such social experiments to make order in the society. One group thinks that changing the culture and social structure is necessary for making it a fair society. When such change is denied, war and terror are used to enforce it. All such major wars, riots, invasion and terror campaigns are carried out with an intention to bring more order in the social system. No one wants to break the world they live in. If we asked the need for such violence to Adolf Hitler or a suicide bomber, they would swear that they were striving and sacrificing themselves for the betterment of the world. They justify the atrocities they commit by believing (and making their followers believe) that their actions would make the world a better place to live.

Such craving for order came into existence from the time when our nomad wandering ancestors decided to settle in a place. By many generations, these small communities where everyone recognized and trusted everyone else became bigger. As population plummeted,  communities turned into camps, camps became colonies and it further evolved into societies. In large societies, people stopped recognizing each other so they became less trusting. Societies disintegrated. Conflicts increased. People started polarising into separate inner groups to reduce their insecurity, which made it worse. Rules and rulers became a necessity. They believed that “God’s deeds” were responsible to their mysteries like earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, epidemic deaths etc. So the concept of God, induced fear in them which was used in reducing violence and improving morality.  From that time our societies have further evolved into nationalities and cults evolved into organized religions.

Communism, Islam, Nationalism, Capitalism, Democracy etc.. are our attempts to bring order into a wild society. While some ideologies tried taming the society by putting them into chains, some other ideology considers to set them free after tranquillizing them with greed.

 Communists solution for the disorder is “One Class and No Religion” principle. Communists argue that, if there is only one class the “Working Class (Proletariat)” there won’t be any discrimination. Psychologically, people do recognize themselves in different circles of identities like class, politics, job, wealth, religion etc. By suppressing the formation of such associations, inner conflicts within the society could be eliminated. Hence in communist nations such rights are revoked and religion is discouraged.Centralized polite bureau controlled government owns all state property.
CommunismGovernment will take over the excess resources produced and allocate them when required. Private ownership has limitations. So that there would not be rich to exploit the poor. People would not hoard materials and unwanted resources for advancing in their social hierarchy, as there is no such social ladders to climb. Communist ideology enforces strict regulations by limiting the rights of the people.

Capitalism as seen by Socialists

Capitalism advocates for “Liberty“. Society is fuelled and run by money. Meritocratic society provides opportunity to make profit for everyone without much discrimination. As it is a consumer oriented society, materials are liberally produced (or acquired ) and marketed to the people. Resources are owned privately and are operated for profit. Corporate lobbyists have higher influence over political decisions. Economy as the basic building block, rich people are considered successful. What POWER is for communism, MONEY is for capitalism.

Theocracy ( eg: Islamic state with Shari’a law )  is based on “One Religion and No Class“. People who endorse theocracy argues that people would be more moral towards each other with religion as its central doctrine. Islamic States enforce Islamic rules using Sharia based on Quran and Sunnah. ShariaSharia crimes include heresy, apostasy, atheism, refusal to pray, adultery and alcoholism. Punishments include amputation, stoning, flagellation & death sentence.

All the religions, which evolved from ancient cults to today’s popular religions had two main objectives.

  1. Spiritual Enquiry (in some cultures Philosophical Enquiry).
  2. Socio-political Control (Political dictate).

Even though all major religions have both these sides, different religions prioritizes it at different levels. Eastern religious traditions like Buddhism, Hinduism (School of  Vedanta), Zen, Taoism, etc. gives more precedence towards the spiritual (philosophical) side. Questions on “Nature of Reality”, “Consciousness”, “Defining the Self” etc., is analysed through the teachings and sanctities of gurus (Buddha, Adi Shankara) and scriptures (Upanishads, Brahma Sutra etc.). Yoga and meditations are methods used in stabilizing the body and mind. Logic, science and reasoning are used for hypothesis. Social control using the politics of religion was also widely used from ancient times by the imperial cults.

Politicizing religion could be seen from ancient Egyptians, Aztec civilizations where the rulers proclaimed themselves as Gods or their representatives. This prevented rebellion of the slaves, militants and the oppressed, hence prevented society from anarchy. Predominantly, it was also used to justify social stratifications like “caste system”. Abrahamic religions like Islam and Christianity gives precedence to social control by doctrines and commandments, which deals with “How to live in a society” and “How not to live in the society”. Depending on the social zeitgeist and culture, such indoctrinations are made voluntary or coerced. We can clearly see this in Islamic nations where the sharia laws are used for governance. In an Islamic regime, because religion is the foundation of political control, criticizing it (Heresy) is punishable by the death sentence.

Through religion dictators got a “probable cause” for their invasion. People had their emotional attachments towards God and religion. Dictators exploited this relationship and their invasion became their commitment to the Gods will. TerrorismThroughout our history, such Invasions, Crusades and Jihad are carried out for expanding religious social control. People from different locations, who identified themselves with some religion sympathized, funded and participated in this bloodshed. Modern day democracy has compatibility issues with the religion. On going clashes between the Taliban and Pakistan government is an example for this.

Nationalism which identified people based on their geographic location got strengthened with the advent of Democracy. Democracy is centred around “Right to equality”,“Right to freedom of speech and expression”,“Right to freedom of religion”, “Right to seek constitutional remedies” etc…. In a democracy, eligible citizens are the sovereign power, but political power is exercised indirectly through elected representatives. Any citizen can participate or cast votes in the election. The majority decides the ruler, minorities sometimes gets reservations or considerations.

People living within their national boundaries are considered as citizens. Outside those boundaries they are “foreigners”, and require permission to enter other nationalities. As most nationalities have at least one ongoing conflict with their neighbouring nations, people detest, envy, or fear their neighbours. Since there is a separate economy and military for each nation, people from their birth believe that they have such boundaries and segregation and address people from other nations as “they”. Living in the largest democracy, another problem I have felt is that the fundamental right, which allows “Right to associate and form groups”, might lead to inner segregation and people living in a democracy usually have (or could afford to have) multiple identities. Nationalism is invoked to de-fragment their loyalties and nationalism (which is good), might advance towards patriotism and later into chauvinism.

Throughout our history, thinkers, revolutionaries & terrorists have set off to bring order into the world. These Samaritans can be categorized from fundamentalists to intellectuals based on what they are holding, a gun or a pen. Violence like war and terrorism is the result of them getting blinded by their own inhibitions like their ideologies and loyalties.They are not being able to see the world with their biased judgements and ends up compromising their ethics for somehow reaching their goal.

We are continuously trying to patch up our imperfect world with our “..isms” and “..cracys“. These “..isms” are the main cause for schisms in the society. Before blindly trusting our leaders or ideologies, we must also remember that, we are all palpable emotional beings with incomplete knowledge, moderate intelligence and distorted world view. This humility will stop us from weighing our rights and wrongs over others. This will prevent us from being a bigot by fending off our stereotypical prejudices.

I am convinced that, if there is any “state of peace”, it is when we don’t have to compromise our freedom for our social order or vice versa. Everlasting violence for order will go on until we agree to sign the pact for peaceful anarchy. Like John Lennon “imagine”d, if there is anything close to utopia, it is a time when there is no flag to salute, no politics, no religions, no loyalties, no boundaries. Perhaps, by understanding that all living things have common natural ancestry, we would be able to tolerate each other. Only if we dethrone the bourgeois dictator living in our minds, who distorts our world-view by giving us snobbish opinions and judgements, we could respect each others differences. Only in a time when words are given precedence over weapons and when we try to convince others with rational discourses rather than subjugating them with force through terror and conquests, we shall have peace. When we break free from our own cages of conformities and loyalties, we will get freedom from our own identities, that would bring us Peace by eliminating the need for the Order.

War and terror could never bring either peace or order.


“I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent.”
Mahatma Gandhi

Dove Peace

All, Books, Reviews

Status Anxiety by Alain de Botton

Status Anxiety is a Non Fiction Book / Documentary written by Swiss-British writer & philosopher Alain de Botton. Like the title clearly states, the book and the subsequent documentary questions the worth of “Status” and the anxiety gifted by our continuous effort to improve our status. Status Anxiety Book CoverThe book deals with all the aspects of the subject from the birth and evolution of status to the lifestyle and social structure we adopted due to its influence. The documentary differentiates the lives of the people who gives ample priority to the status, to the lives of Bohemians who value freedom rather than status.

Alain de Botton tells us with the change in our political ideologies, how our value based communities deformed into status based societies. Earlier, when there was a prescribed social stratum, people were not much status conscious as drastic change in status was not possible in that system. But with the advent of democracy and globalization, on the place of nobility and aristocracy which were the main status meters, Money and Power became icons of status. Everybody got the opportunity for improving their status infinitely. Societies got meritocratic ( …which is good ) but the drawback of a meritocratic society is that if the people applauded the successful people because they deserved success, the people also booed unsuccessful people and labelled them as “Losers”, and thought that they deserved that too.  Life turned into a ccompetition as people constantly evaluated their status by comparing it with their friends, neighbours etc.  Alain de Botton says the joy of living is lost because of the anxiety caused by STATUS.

It reminded me of the story that I once heard. When Burmese Prince visited India, Indian Prime Minister ( knowing that the GDP of Burma is much lower than India), asked the prince ” How much is the current GDP of Burma ? “, the prince smiled and replied “We don’t value GDP as much as we value GHP ( Gross Happiness Product )”. 

I think one prioritizes STATUS as per they define the meaning of LIFE. When Life is seen as an endless tournament with others or conquest to acquire more materials, values like empathy & sympathy diminishes from the society.  Conversely, if Life is seen as a brief moment in consciousness ( …utmost 80 Years ) to experience and learn from the world we inhabit, we get a value based system. I throughly enjoyed the Documentary and Book. 5 Stars.

Full Documentary of Status Anxiety (12 Parts ) below.

“Every adult life could be said to be defined by two great love stories. The first – the story of our quest for sexual love – is well known and well charted, its vagaries form the staple of music and literature, it is socially accepted and celebrated. The second – the story of our quest for love from the world – is a more secret and shameful tale. If mentioned, it tends to be in caustic, mocking terms, as something of interest chiefly to envious or deficient souls, or else the drive for status is interpreted in an economic sense alone. And yet this second love story is no less intense than the first, it is no less complicated, important or universal, and its setbacks are no less painful. There is heartbreak here too.” ― Alain de Botton, Status Anxiety

“Wealth is not an absolute. It is relative to desire. Every time we yearn for something we cannot afford, we grow poorer, whatever our resources. And every time we feel satisfied with what we have, we can be counted as rich, however little we may actually possess.” ― Alain de Botton, Status Anxiety

“People who hold important positions in society are commonly labelled “somebodies,” and their inverse “nobodies”-both of which are, of course, nonsensical descriptors, for we are all, by necessity, individuals with distinct identities and comparable claims on existence. Such words are nevertheless an apt vehicle for conveying the disparate treatment accorded to different groups. Those without status are all but invisible: they are treated brusquely by others, their complexities trampled upon and their singularities ignored.”
Alain de Botton, Status Anxiety

Status Axiety Alain De Botton Quote

All, Musings

Does God Exists ? [ Vedanta ]

Rare Old Audio Clip on “Does God Exists ?“, Explained according to Vedanta. Advaita Vedanta.

All, Musings

Best Philosophical Dialogues – True Detective !

  1. “To realize that all your life—you know, all your love, all your hate, all your memory, all your pain—it was all the same thing. It was all the same dream. A dream that you had inside a locked room. A dream about being a person. And like a lot of dreams there’s a monster at the end of it.”

  2. “People incapable of guilt usually do have a good time.”

  3. “I think human consciousness, is a tragic misstep in evolution. We became too self-aware, nature created an aspect of nature separate from itself, we are creatures that should not exist by natural law. We are things that labor under the illusion of having a self; an accretion of sensory, experience and feeling, programmed with total assurance that we are each somebody, when in fact everybody is nobody. Maybe the honorable thing for our species to do is deny our programming, stop reproducing, walk hand in hand into extinction, one last midnight – brothers and sisters opting out of a raw deal.”

  4. “Trouble with dying later is you’ve already grown up, the damage is done — too late. I think about the hubris it must take to yank a soul out of nonexistence into this… Force a life into this thresher.

  5. Most of the time I was convinced that I’d lost it. But there were other times, I thought I was mainlining the secret truth of the universe.”

  6. “This place is like somebody’s memory of a town, and the memory is fading. It’s like there was never anything here, but jungle.”

  7. “Death created time to grow the things that it would kill.”

  8. “Someone once told me, ‘Time is a flat circle.’ Everything we’ve ever done or will do, we’re gonna do over and over and over again. And that little boy and that little girl, they’re gonna be in that room again and again and again forever.”

  9. “Everybody judges, all the time. Now, you got a problem with that, you’re living wrong.”

  10. “My life’s been a circle of violence and degradation long as I can remember. I’m ready to tie it off.”

  11. “If the only thing keeping a person decent is the expectation of divine reward, then, brother, that person is a piece of s***. And I’d like to get as many of them out in the open as possible.
    You gotta get together and tell yourself stories that violate every law of the universe just to get through the goddamn day? What’s that say about your reality?”

  12. “It’s all one ghetto, man. A giant gutter in outer space.”

  13. “I know who I am. And after all these years, there’s a victory in that.”

  14. “Well, once there was only dark. If you ask me, the light’s winning.”

Man is the cruelest animal !